Since I want very much to help everyone stay engaged in life and that requires holding on to your health, from time to time I am going to get some of the more knowledgable people in my life to pass along their years of experience. One of these people I have pressed into service is “my husband, the dentist”, to give you all some updates for keeping that big, happy smile on your face. I have always believed that if you act happy long enough you will actually be happy, so we will just start small with a simple tactic your SMILE.
What follows will be his first attempt at making dentistry easier to understand and hopefully make you better consumers and patients. Hopefully, it can start a dialog between you and your dentist. Personally, I never quite know what I want to know from medical professionals until it’s too late and I find out what I didn’t want, the hard way.
I have been asked to write a blog about Dentistry as it pertains to aging. UGH !! My English prof told me to specifically stick to scientific papers since I completely lacked literary style. I followed his advice but I will attempt to discuss this topic without boring you to death. So, what happens to our mouths and teeth as we age….. The most obvious is the cosmetic changes. Our teeth have gotten darker and our gums have receded somewhat, showing root surfaces and even the margins of what were once beautiful restorations (dark lines). Teeth themselves get brittle and break, enamel crazes and chips. Fillings wear out. Salivary flow diminishes and we are prone to cavities and gum disease with teeth loosening and being lost. If systemic diseases are also present, diabetes etc., the process is more pronounced. Cosmetic dentistry, which we have done for ages, has gotten better with new materials and techniques. Dark teeth can be bleached many shades lighter or entire teeth can be covered in “new” enamel, porcelain or white composites. Old broken “silver” fillings can be replaced with white cosmetic fillings which even strengthen the teeth. Gum disease can be controlled with periodic cleanings and proper home care.
In our practice we recommend sonic tooth brushes and Water-Piks with peroxide added. Missing teeth can be replaced with our many varieties of titanium implants which are permanent (dentures can be fully stabilized with these same implants). Meanwhile newer and better metals and materials are coming as we speak. I guess there is hope for us. I am amazed at the advancements we are making every day.
Please feel free to ask me any questions in our comments section and I will answer them as promptly as I can. In future blogs I can perhaps tackle specific issues that are of interest to the readers. Maybe I’ll even get my wife to name this “the floss corner”.
We all take such pains with our hair and makeup and our clothes don’t let your teeth give away your age. Protect your greatest social asset, your smile!